Action hero? I'd rather be the geek

THE I.T. GUY: Mr Lin Ting has always wanted to be like the genius computer expert in a sci-fi or action movie, so he enrolled in a degree programme at Informatics to fulfil his geek dream.


    Oct 08, 2013

    Action hero? I'd rather be the geek

    WHILE most people would worship the leading-hero character of a sci-fi or action movie, Mr Lin Ting's personal icon is the flick's resident IT geek.

    Mr Lin, 28, said he has always wanted to be like the "genius computer experts" in a movie.

    Already a software developer, he felt that he needed to upgrade his skills so as to gain even greater recognition as an expert.

    So he went back to school last year, seven years since he last attended one.

    In January, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computer Science and Software Engineering from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, completed at private-education institution Informatics Academy in Singapore.

    With his newly acquired knowledge, he aims to become a leader of a software-development team in the next few years and eventually start his own company.

    While doing the degree programme, it was common for Mr Lin to burn the midnight oil most nights after work. He even had to give up most of his leisure time during the weekend for his studies.

    That would seem like a huge sacrifice for many, but, for Mr Lin, he would not have it any other way.

    "I am more confident now and much better at solving software problems that I encounter at work," he said.

    Over the year-long programme at Informatics, Mr Lin has made some good friends, whom he still meets regularly.

    As most of his classmates hail from countries across Asia, Mr Lin - who came to Singapore from Fujian province in China seven years ago - said he had the opportunity to learn about the cultures of other countries.

    "A work environment with people of different nationalities is common these days. My interaction with students from various countries during my studies has helped me prepare for such an environment," he said.

    Mr Lin also took pride in being able to come up with good ideas, thanks to the degree programme.

    For his final project, he proposed additional features for Informatics' student portal.

    Having noticed that the portal was used only to distribute course materials, Mr Lin thought that it could be more interactive and created a version with added features such as a live chat and forum for the project, which earned him good marks.

    However, he was quick to give credit to his supervisor, Dr Teo Kim Heng, who gave him a nudge when he was tempted to settle for just a passing grade.

    "He would tell me, 'You have worked so hard and spent so much time on your project, why give up now?'" said Mr Lin. "And I am very grateful as his encouragement helped me get an A in the end."

    What did you like about Informatics' school system?

    The recorded lectures. I was able to watch the lectures which I missed due to work commitments on my phone or iPad whenever I had pockets of free time, like when I was commuting.

    The virtual-campus system was also helpful as it allowed me to download lecture notes for self-study.

    How did you manage your time as a part-time student?

    I forced myself to be disciplined and spent at least an hour each night working on my assignments and revising my work. Sometimes I would head back to school on a Saturday to study at its Resource Room with e-library facilities.

    Who are your favourite lecturers?

    Dr Teo Kim Heng and Mr Karuppan Palaniappan Chettiar. When I had questions about some parts of the course or wanted to get guidance on my project, I would go to them with my queries, sometimes during lunch-break, and they were always patient and accommodating.

    For more information on the courses offered at Informatics Academy, visit www.informatics.edu.sg